In Lancashire, there has never been a better time to start collecting good quality antique chests – if a recent sale in Shropshire is anything to go by.
When the Edward V. Phillips collection went under the hammer on 6th – 7th November, it was obvious the retired corn merchant had invested wisely. Several pieces – including a William and Mary antique cabinet on stand – sold for well above the auctioneer’s estimate, realising £600,000 in total (plus commission).
Edward Phillips began acquiring his collection in the 1970s, selecting only the very best pieces. One of the highlights of the two-day single owner sale was a rare Jacobite “Amen” drinking glass, which realised £43,000 against an estimate of £20,000 – £30,000. Used by Catholics in covert meetings against Protestant rule, only about 40 are thought to remain in existence.
Phillips was also an ardent collector of oak, country and fine furniture, with his Early English pieces doing particularly well in the sale. Among the antique chests, two Elizabethan coffers realised £9,400 and £9,600 against an estimate of £2,000 – £4,000, while an early 17th century sword chest sold for £6,200 against an upper estimate of £1,800. However, William and Mary furniture may well turn out to be a better investment in Lancashire; an antique cabinet-on-stand of this period with a £12,000 upper estimate sold for £18,000, while an oyster veneered antique chest with drawers did even better, realising £13,000 (est. £6,000 – £8,000).
Antique dealers in Lancashire have antique dining tables , antique chests and other William and Mary pieces – but without the high commission rates of auction houses.